View Full Version : A sports-journalist's great NBA analysis

02-11-2003, 03:21 PM
Here are a couple of exerpts from one of the funniest NBA articles (http://msn.espn.go.com/page2/s/simmons/030210.html) this season:
Cleveland Cavaliers
Remember when they were cruising to the pole position in the LeBron Sweepstakes? They traded Miller for Darius Miles, certainly not a "We're winning now!" move. Nobody batted an eyelash when John Lucas trotted out Milt Palacio and Bimbo Coles as his new point guards (Plan C was Dirk Minnefield). They revolved the offense around Ricky Davis, who makes Rasheed Wallace seem bubbly. They encouraged Zydrunas Ilgauskas to play as many minutes as possible, always a good idea when you're 7-3 with bad wheels. Once the season started, players openly argued on the court. Miles was getting booed. Davis openly campaigned to get moved. Ty Hill bitched with teammates left and right; he hasn't made this many enemies since the last time he played poker with Charles Oakley. Rookie DaJuan Wagner was hoisting up bad shots and having a grand old time.
Yep, Project LeBron was working like a charm. Then ... boom!
They fired Lucas.
Are you kidding me? That's like hiring the skipper from the Titanic to ram your luxury yacht into an iceberg, then replacing him when he's 100 feet away. What else did this man have to do? He delivered dysfunction, disorganization, chaos and a losing attitude. What else was left? I don't get it. Now Keith Smart is running the show. If the Cavs are smart, they should tell their new coach to start dropping bowling balls on Ilgauskas's feet during timeouts. Surely, Lucas would have thought of that if they gave him a little more time.

Atlanta Hawks
They're like the poster child for everything wrong with the league (and remember, I like this league): Waves of empty seats, no chemistry, a revolving door at point guard last month, they brought in some guy named "Wilks" who suddenly started playing in crunch-time for them. They made a big deal about trading for "franchise guy" Shareef Abdur-Rahim two summers ago. Franchise guy? Is he even one of the best 40 players in the league? Has he ever played on a winning team? They made the classic Loser NBA Franchise mistake of overpaying for a college coach -- Lon Kruger, recently canned -- even though it's impossible to remember a college coach succeeding in this league. And they guaranteed their fans that they would make the playoffs, always a mistake. Their fans suck, anyway -- why antagonize them?

I loved the Titanic analogy, and I thought the last line of the Hawks analysis was priceless.

Josh W
02-12-2003, 12:21 AM
If you, or anybody else, does not frequently read Bill Simmons articles, you are doing yourself a great disservice. I got turned onto him about a year ago, and as soon as I saw his writing, I invaded his archives. He often talks about trips to vegas and low limit poker, as well /forums/images/icons/smile.gif....He's priceless.

02-12-2003, 05:57 AM
LeBron James showing a savviness and insight well beyond his 18 years has publicly declared that he will not play for the Cavs under any circumstances.

02-12-2003, 09:15 AM
Thanks for the advice - I shall look into him a little further. I'm sure I've read some of his work before without noting the author (I read way too many online sports articles to bother with the author 1/2 the time).

02-12-2003, 09:18 AM
I made a similar declaration myself a couple years ago. It's one thing to be horrible for a long time. It's another entirely to be horrible and look it too.